The Old 97′s aren’t playing any showcases at this year’s SXSW, but Rhett is stepping in to represent our favorite foursome at a number of events on Wednesday and Thursday. For any fans in Austin who’ve never seen him solo, shame on you! I kid, but seriously, whether he’s with the band or alone on stage with his guitar, he has one performing mode and that is ALL IN! Seize this opportunity to witness his remarkable skill, talent, and showmanship. Besides, chances are very high he’ll play a number of new songs from Most Messed Up.
Here’s a little teaser from his recent show at World Café Live in Philly:
Rhett starts the ball rolling on Wednesday, March 12 with a 1:50-2:30pm outdoor performance at The Billy Reid + Weather Up Austin Shindig in East Austin located at 1808 E. Cesar Chavez St.
Then at 6pm he heads over to headline the KEXP party at Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop on 400 Nueces St.
Thursday, March 13 is going to be a looooooong day for Mr. Miller, beginning with the KGSR morning showcase at 7am. An obscenely early hour for anyone to be up and functioning, let along a rockstar. Rhett is sandwiched between Nicole Atkins and Jeremy Messersmith, two other acts worth a listen from your ringing ears. This year’s showcase is located at the swanky W Austin on Lavaca St. It will also be streaming live at KGSR.com, so you can pry open your blurry eyes and watch these talented musicians in your jammies.
At 12:30pm, Rhett will be participating in his first SXSW panel, “Fighting for Their Rights: A Discussion on the Beastie Boys, Fair Use and Copyright”. Included on this panel is former Elektra A & R man and long-time friend of the Old 97′s, Tom DeSavia. It should prove to be an informative and lively discussion in room 17B of the Austin Convention Center.
After consuming some famous Austin tacos or perhaps taking a much-needed power nap (I’m just guessing here, but that’s what I, a mere mortal, would do), Rhett will head over to the Brooklyn Vegan + Life or Death Day Party at Red 7 on East 7th to blow the roof off of the inside stage at 3:30pm. You might want to check out Basia Bulat and Nicole Atkins who are also on the bill for that afternoon.
And finally, our prolific lead singer will finish out his SXSW duties with an evening showcase at Buffalo Billiards on 6th. He takes the stage from 9:00-9:40pm.
Whew! I’m exhausted just reading his schedule.
Please keep in mind, showcases are added at the last minute all of the time, so keep an eye on SXSW’s ever-evolving schedule throughout the week.
For those of you lucky enough to be in Austin for the beautiful chaotic circus that is SXSW, have a blast for the rest of us! Please feel free to share any photos and videos from Rhett’s appearances in the Forum section. And remember, KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD!!
Great interview with Rhett about the new album over on Salon today.
Yes, it has been an emotionally draining time for Miller — but a liberating one as well, too. Something in the awfulness of the pain gave him the freedom to speak out and speak his mind. And this autobiographical song cycle is his most honest, revealing and often laugh-out-loud funny yet. “I’ve come to a decision where I don’t have to try and be perfect,” he said over the phone last week, in an exclusive first interview about the album. “I don’t have to try and be nice. I don’t have to try and make everybody happy all the time.”
That’s apparent from the very first song, “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive,” which comes right out and admits to the drinking and pills, to how the road can be “a blast and a bore,” to butting heads with band mates, and to nights onstage where everyone is checking the clock. That directness sets the tone for a total excavation of the heart, all of it set against a return of the careening, train-wildly-off-the-track beat that will make fans of “Too Far to Care” and other early albums rejoice.
You can now pre-order Most Messed Up CDs, LPs and bundles with exclusive t-shirts and posters.
Every pre-order includes:
- Instant free download of the unreleased track “Career Opportunities” (yes, a Clash cover!)
- Early digital MP3 download of the album on Friday, April 25
There’s also a ton of new tour dates up over on the shows page, so check it out and come see us sometime.
If you enjoyed the streaming preview of “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive” from the upcoming Most Messed Up (out 4/29/14), here’s your chance to grab it and make it your very own. All you need is an email address and it’s all yours. Enjoy.
2014 tour dates will soon be announced.
- “Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”
- “Give It Time”
- “Let’s Get Drunk & Get It On”
- “This Is The Ballad”
- “Wheels Off”
- “The Disconnect”
- “The Ex Of All You See”
- “Most Messed Up”
We had a great time with our first ever pro-am fantasy football league, and want to congratulate Wil Watkins, long-time fan from Houston, on his championship. He defeated fan Jim Fullerton from Reno in the Super Bowl 138.80 – 58.12.
The third-place finisher was Kevin Leiske of Austin, another fan entrant, who beat Rhett’s Potsie Webers 103.7 – 93.78 for the honor.
The 14-team league featured all four members of the band, numerous peers and associates, and four fan contest winners.
There’s always next year…
. . .
1. Rhett Miller
2. Robert Jenkins – Summer Break Records.
3. Jon Landman – owner, The Syndicate.
4. Keven McAlester – producer/director/writer.
5. Mike Dalke - Old 97′s tour manager.
6. Cory Worrell – fan contest winner, Houston.
7. Kevin Leiske – fan contest winner, Austin, TX.
1. Ken Bethea
2. Philip Peoples
3. Wes Kidd - Old 97′s manager.
4. Jeff Neely - Old 97′s webmaster.
5. Linnwood Regensburg, drummer for Those Darlin’s.
6. Wil Watkins – fan contest winner, Houston.
7. Jim Fullerton – fan contest winner, Reno.
The 97′s finished up recording the tracks for their upcoming new album a couple of weeks ago, and this week Rhett gives the Rolling Stone a little insight into the nature of this new effort.
As Rhett tells it, he arrived in Texas armed with two distinctly different sets of songs, one adult-themed with “a lot of cursing, a lot of drinking and lots of sex”, the other filled with prettier songs. After some deliberation, he reveals the band chose the raunchier, adult numbers and cranked the amps up to eleven. Sprinkle in a little guitar fire from The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson and you’ve got the perfect recipe for another 97′s crowd-pleasing classic! Some of you Austinites were lucky enough to hear one of these new barn burners live last month. Anywho, read all about it from our fabulous frontman himself here.
Other acts may have mellowed with age, but as Rhett so eloquently put it, “we are not going gentle into that good night.”
We can all thank the little baby Jesus for that.
(you can view more photos from the summer’s great Brooklyn Bowl Trifecta here.)
A string of eleven November shows kicks off in Detroit Friday night. We hope to see you at the show!
To celebrate, we’re giving away three of the new custom posters for this short tour. Just share the Facebook post with this photo and you’ll have a shot to win!
11/04/13 – The Haunt – Ithaca, NY
11/05/13 – TLA – Philadelphia, PA – w/ Drive-By Truckers
11/06/13 – Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH – w/ Drive-By Truckers
11/08/13 – Madison Theater – Covington, KY – w/ Drive-By Truckers
11/09/13 – Minglewood Hall – Memphis, TN – w/ Drive-By Truckers
Legalese: Contest ends Friday 11/1 at midnight CST.
Great tidbit from the Hollywood Reporter:
It was mid-February of this year when Vince Gilligan settled in to finish the script for Breaking Bad’s 62nd and final episode. Filming was set to begin in a little over a week. He sat down at the dining-room table of his Albuquerque, N.M., condo, which had doubled as the temporary home of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White when his wife kicked him out of the house a few seasons earlier. With an Old 97s version of “El Paso” playing on a continuous loop on his iPod, he wrote the final scene in which the camera pulls away from White one last time…
Excellent. Enjoy some inspiration of your own:
1. IRON ROAD
2. THE OTHER SHOE
3. VISITING HOURS (1996 Demo)
4. FIREFLIES (Take 2, 1996 Demo)
5. LONDON I KNOW (1996 Demo)
6. BORN ON A TRAIN (1996 Demo)
Tracks 5 & 6 previously unissued
- – - – -
Imagine if Waylon Jennings came to see your band. Imagine if Waylon Jennings liked your band. Liked them enough to talk you up in press like The Austin Chronicle. Imagine your A&R guy telling you to write Waylon to thank him and see if he wanted to record some music with you.
Imagine if Waylon said yes.
Waylon Jennings attended an Old 97’s gig in 1996, and later that year joined Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond, Rhett Miller and Philip Peeples in a studio in Nashville to cut two tracks. The youthful energy of Old 97’s with the classic delivery of Waylon Jennings. Sadly, Waylon passed away and these recordings—some of Jennings’ last—never saw the light of day until April of 2013.
Omnivore Recordings is proud to offer the Waylon Jennings/Old 97’s collaborations and the Old 97’s 1996 demos from our Record Store Day double 7″ on a new CD E.P. coupled with two additional Old 97’s demos from 1996. To make it even more special, we’re adding four more previously unissued demos: “Visiting Hours” (a live version appeared on 2011’s The Grand Theater Vol. 2) and “Fireflies” (re-recorded by Rhett Miller for his acclaimed 2006 solo album The Believer), “London I Know” and a cover of the Magnetic Fields’ Stephin Merritt classic, “Born On A Train” from the great “The Charm Of The Highway Strip” album.
The CD E.P. will be available in a digipack with art from Jon Langford (of The Mekons & Waco Brothers, and renowned painter of Country Music icons) and insightful and hilarious liners from the band’s Rhett Miller, which put you right there in the studio.
Alt-Country, Outlaw Country, or just plain Awesome Country, the Old 97’s & Waylon Jennings CD E.P. is a must for fans of any or all of those genres.